Yesterday was surrealistic. Foodie Stories won “Food Blog of the Year 2016” at the Vixen Blog Awards. I don’t like clichés, and yet it’s impossible for me not to say: I did not expect that. Because I honestly didn’t. The thought never crossed my mind that I would even be nominated by my readers to Vixen Blog Awards in the first place, not to mention being selected by the jury as a semifinalist, then voted for by my readers once more, and finally selected as the winner by the jury. Thanks to all of you who apparently must have voted for me. I have no idea who all of you are. I know my mom voted – that’s it.
Header photo: Hanne Erøy
Four Fantastic Finalists
Hardly anyone else writes about restaurants in Norway to the extent that I do, so I feel I belong in a niche category of food bloggers. Most food blogs out there are recipe blogs. While I love to cook at home too, that’s not what I’ve chosen to write about. One of the reasons for that choice are all the other great recipe bloggers out there. Just look at the wonderful colleagues I shared the finalists’ heat with: Trines Matblogg, Vegetarbloggen, Aichas Mat, and Fru Timian. Even though my community has been growing steadily the last year, I feel like I fade in comparison to Trines Matblogg – Norway’s unparalleled recipe queen, who’s in her tenth year of blogging! And all four of these fantastic finalists have already published books! With that in mind, I feel even more honored to have been selected by the jury. This is the jury’s conclusion (my translation):
The Food Blog of the Year is oozing with inspiring and creative texts and images which stimulate the readers’ appetite. The winner of the Food Blog of the Year takes us on a culinary journey, and can almost be referred to as a travel blog dedicated to food. This is real passion before business, and a visual feast that is mouth watering both on the blog, on Instagram, and on Snapchat. With a unique interface, content and user experience, this is a great example of how a good blog should look like. – The Vixen Jury
Where And How to Follow My Foodie Stories
I can see that my traffic is booming today, so if you are here for the first time, please add “andershusa” on Snapchat, and follow my adventures on Instagram and Facebook to get daily updates. You can navigate my page either by browsing the front page, searching (there’s a search bar on the top and bottom,) or by checking out my foodie guides and foodie maps. There’s also a rumors section about soon-to-open and newly opened restaurants. Why do I write in English, you may wonder? Because I want to promote Oslo, Norway, and Scandinavia to the rest of the world as well!
It’s All About the User-Experience
During the Lee pre-party before the awards show, judge Hans-Petter Nygård-Hansen touched upon the subject of user experience, technical solutions, and loading speed of blogs. He told me he was particularly impressed by all the work that was put into such details on my site. By chance, a journalist from NRK was there and ended up using it for an interview. What the article doesn’t say, though, is that I owe it all to my good friend in Braves – Markus Vesøen. Yes, that’s the same guy who, together with his wonderful girlfriend Elisabeth, makes Rescue Juice. In fact, Markus handles all the technical stuff which is too advanced for me, like server hosting, security and whatever stuff involves coding. He has taught me everything I know about SEO and picture handling. When I find time one day, I’ll write a guide and share it with all of you.
In 2017, I Need to Make This a Business
For those of you who have followed me for some time, you know that I quit my regular job last autumn to work 100% as a freelance and dedicate more time to blogging. It’s safe to say that I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on restaurant visits in 2016 and to continue for another year means that I need to make this blog a business as well. However, I want to keep my site free of traditional banner ads in 2017 too. I think they look bad, are often irrelevant, and dramatically reduce loading speed. It costs money to make the best foodie guides and maps out there, though, and that’s why I am searching for sponsors. I’m in dialogue with an agency called Showbirds to help me out. They’ve accepted the challenge – but I’m not an easy client. I don’t want to work with random and unrelated brands. I want to be proud of my sponsors. In fact, I think the quality of my content would actually improve if I cooperated with the right travel and food-related brands. That would free up my time to focus on traveling and creating better content.
Vixen Blog Awards was a very professional event and great fun. Even us food bloggers managed to blend in somehow with the fashion crowd and celebs. My short time on the stage is a bit of a blur. I remember hugging the presenters Christine Dancke and Ida Fladen, and saying something along the lines of this:
– Thanks. This is an honor. Especially considering the four fantastic colleagues I was nominated together with. Thanks to all who voted. Thanks to the jury. And thanks to Hedda who takes part in almost everything I do. She is very patient.
We barely had any time to spend at the Foodora afterparty, as we needed to get up early the next morning to catch a flight to Ålesund. We did find time for a falafel roll at Lille Amir on the way home, though. Classic ending!